8400 m2 NLA
Establishing a sense of community and transparency within the legal workplace whilst maintaining individual offices for all legal staff.
The Sydney workplace for global law firm Baker & McKenzie is designed to facilitate the transformation of its existing legal workplace into an environment that is team-based and flexible, establishes a sense of community, eliminates hierarchies, maximises daylight and ensures visibility across the workplace. The workplace achieves this within the constraints of maintaining individual offices for all legal staff.
The workplace is planned around a central spine or ‘street’ which visually joins the two sides of the building across the lift lobby. The cafe and informal meeting space are located at the end of the street. These spaces allow areas for the workplace community to develop, facilitating informal discussion and interaction.
Offices are located along the perimeter as well as internally, which enables visibility between offices. A one-size office approach is established in the individual office design, with modular workstation and storage components enabling both the dissolution of hierarchies and maximum flexibility for future re-configuration.
Administrative teams are arranged at the four corners of the building for central visual access to offices and to create a support hub that legal teams radiate from. Corridors to the north and south have open ends terminating in informal meeting areas, to assist way-finding and negate the circular and disorienting circulation patterns common to central core buildings.
- BVN originally engaged to help find new premises; ultimate decision was to stay in the same building and create a bespoke office design
- Design facilitates work culture aspirations whilst maintaining individual offices, often perceived to be contrary to teamwork, flexibility and community
- Creation of central 'street' with cafes and informal meeting areas to facilitate informal interaction and develop a sense of community in the workplace
- Spaces can be easily reconfigured to allow for specific needs of particular practice groups
- Generic and flexible design for each of the seven floors to allow practice groups to relocate easily
- Operable walls between three adjacent spaces allow transformation into a single large conference room when required
- Briefing process included all sectors of the firm from first-year graduates to senior partners